Politics

Obama gains in polls, but Chicago not as excited as '08

Monday, November 05, 2012

With just about 24 hours to go until all the votes are in, President Barack Obama has inched out to a slim advantage. The president now has a three-point advantage in the popular vote over Mitt Romney, according to the latest tracking poll from ABC News and the Washington Post.

We're in Chicago, in the middle of Obama country, and it is as blue as the Bay Area. So it makes sense that this is where the president will spend Tuesday night, but on Monday he had much more important places to be.

The president started his last day of the campaign in Madison, Wisconsin -- a huge crowd estimated at 18,000 cheered him on.

"You know that I'll fight for you and your families every single day as long as I know how. You know that about me," said Obama.

For the president the most crucial state is Ohio and he and Romney were in Columbus on Monday, within a couple of hours of each other. The president will finish up Monday night in Iowa, where he started his first campaign four years ago.

"We know we have more work to do," said Obama.

For Romney, it's all about winning Florida, Virginia and Ohio; he needs to sweep all three.

"Tomorrow we begin a better tomorrow," said Romney.

Monday night he will finish up in New Hampshire and on Tuesday, he'll watch the returns in Boston.

"Do you want four more years like the last four years? Or do you want real change?" asked Romeny to a crowd of supporters.

The president will be in Chicago Tuesday night. Workers are preparing a hall in McCormick Center that will hold as many as 18,000.

Four years ago, we were in Grant Park where a stage was set up and there were 200,000 to 300,000 people watching Obama speak on election night. Marty Williams and Barbara Fargo from Santa Cruz flew out hoping to see another quarter of million people celebrating election night in the park.

"It is cold, but I'd be prepared to put on whatever I need to, to stand out here and watch him on election night win for a second time," said Fargo.

Fargo and Williams don't have tickets to Tuesday's event at the McCormick Center. They've been reserved for donors and for volunteers like the people manning the phone bank in Chicago. They spent the day calling registered Democrats in Wisconsin and Iowa. Among them Bay Area resident and Kamala Harris's staffer-turned-advisor Debbie Mesloh

"You see the energy here, you see people that are so invested and committed here and so I don't think anything is being taken for granted, I think people feel really confident. I came out from California as I said about a week ago and you see people from all across the country going into swing states, getting on buses, doing what they need to do," said Mesloh.

Mesloh talked about feeling the energy at that phone bank, but out on the streets of Chicago we're not feeling it. We're not seeing signs for Obama, we're not seeing the big crowds, we're not feeling the enthusiasm from the people we have talked to. This is still Obama's town, but not as much as it was when he was elected president four years ago.

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Tags:
mitt romney, barack obama, 2012 presidential race, elections, voting, politics, mark matthews
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